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Monthly Archives: November 2019

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25 11, 2019

Masking Drapes Aid With Fantastic USS Iowa Special Event

By |November 25th, 2019|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Here at Sew What? we recognize how important it is to take a few minutes to appreciate the efforts and sacrifices that our men and women in the US Armed Forces do for all of us on a daily basis. Understanding everything that they have given up, and that they vigilantly work every single day to help protect for us, is a humble endeavor that should not be taken lightly. Honoring those that serve in our country’s military on Veteran’s Day is the least we can do as grateful members of the community.

This past Veteran’s Day, the USS Battleship Iowa Museum–right here in San Pedro, California–wanted to offer an exceptional event for the community to enjoy with one another, and to help honor fellow Veterans. Throughout the day, guests enjoyed catered food, and free family-friendly activities on the fantail of the ship, including mural painting and Vicky the Dog Story Time with author Carole Hershman (Vicky, a seafaring pup, was actually the ship’s beloved mascot once upon a time!).

And, as an exclusive treat for their guests that day, on the actual fantail of the ship, they decided to host the Emmy Award winning documentary, The Last Signal, and the award winning World War I documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old, with a live Q&A by Emmy Award winning director Kyle Olson. Happily, this event got such a huge response from the public that they had to change where they held the event to an even larger area. As you can imagine, on a sunny Southern California day, it would be way too bright outside to successfully show a film outdoors with any sort of clarity, even under the massive tent structures they brought in for the event. Due to this last minute change, they had to get dark-colored, light-blocking tie-on curtains to quickly mask off the entire area behind and next to the screen, in order for the audience to be able to better immerse themselves in these completely engaging films. 

We were very pleased to be able to rent them some beautiful–and efficient—flat, black, tie-on IFR Encore Velour masking drapes for this set-up. The client was thrilled with how nice they looked, how simple they were to install, and how wonderfully they helped to block the bright sunshine bouncing off the ocean nearby so that their guests could truly enjoy the significant movies being shown that afternoon. With sizes in our rental inventory ranging from 1’h to 60’h, and a huge assortment of widths, our flat masking curtains and borders can help put the finishing touches on any type of unique event, production, concert, or trade show configuration that you can think of! Feel free to contact us today so that we can assist you with adding the perfect style of drapery to your own upcoming special occasion, too.

18 11, 2019

Halloween Brings Out Some Very Interesting Characters Indeed

By |November 18th, 2019|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

It’s time once again to showcase the creative, talented, and fun-loving hearts and minds of the Sew What? Family, in all of their Halloween glory! This year we decided to do an afternoon Halloween Costume Contest for the entire staff to revel in. We had a genuinely fun time, as our colleagues came up with some absolutely wonderfully inventive and imaginative costumes again this year.

Representing our company were a couple of authentic hippies straight from Woodstock, beautiful Pocahontas herself, a fabulous French mime, a NASCAR “super-fan,” a beguiling She-Devil, a terrifyingly gruesome special effect display, an adorable Dalmatian doggy, a spooky gothic queen, a drunk and disorderly wicked witch, and—hilariously—an actual praying mantis bug (this blog’s author made it her mission to try and “spray” him with bug spray the entire afternoon…Lol). So, needless to say, there was a wide variety of “characters” to get our holiday spirit in full effect.

And of course it wouldn’t be a true “Whatter’s shindig” without a table full of mouthwatering, delectable holiday-inspired treats and snacks for everyone to enjoy with one another. From adorably frosted Halloween cupcakes, deliciously sprinkled chocolate chip cookies, moist and yummy graveyard brownies, and huge variety of bite-sized candies, we topped it off with ice cold milk and fresh orange juice to keep our whistles wet and our collective engines running on high!

We truly have a blast at these social events, and always look forward to sharing these entertaining and comical memories from all of the various holidays and special occasions that we sincerely like to celebrate with one another.  It gives us both the mental break and the added energy to keep doing what we like to do best—provide the most beautiful, durable, unique, and versatile theatrical custom and rental drapery to all of our amazing clients.

11 11, 2019

Custom Soft Goods Help Create Memorable Tour Stage Design

By |November 11th, 2019|Clients, Projects|1 Comment

We love being able to work with our regular clients on uniquely remarkable drapery projects, and truly enjoy getting to see how they are able to turn something possibly considered “standard” into an undeniably memorable stage design. It takes a uniquely talented lighting and stage designer who can take some simple white drapery and turn them into complete “wow” pieces, and that never ceases to always impress us!

This past summer we were thrilled to be able to work with one of these such designers, the incredible Adam “Orby” Cowan, with the Breaking Benjamin World Tour again. He and his stage and lighting design team devised a very cool look using the band’s existing record-cover design as a main backdrop. But they also wanted to add some edgy, versatile soft good pieces to the stage design to be able to create an absolutely sensational, distinctive motif for this international tour.

They had constructed some truss “hanging” structures (two squares and a triangle) and were looking to drape them with a tour-friendly substrate that they could light up with all different colors and gobo designs. Wanting drapes that would be seamless, crisp, white, and still durable, he decided to have us custom build them set pieces using the ever-popular FR Super Knit fabric. Using this wide, flame retardant substrate was a fabulous way to build stage curtains that would help to give them the clean and taut look they were envisioning, and which could additionally be front and rear projected onto beautifully as well.

Orby did such a phenomenal job as lighting programmer and operator for all of the concerts, by crafting a completely one-of-a-kind look and feel for every part of each concert, and from venue to venue. You can see by these gorgeous photographs taken by gifted band photographer Courtney Dellafiora that he was enormously successful in building an exceptional look for the band’s stage time and time again.

Sometimes the drapery that you are picturing for your stage design may not yet exist—so that is exactly where Sew What? comes in! Chat with one of our helpful and creative drapery specialists today, and let us help you figure out the most amazing drapery that we can custom build for your own exclusive tour, production, or special event design. It’s what we love to do, and it shows!

6 11, 2019

Meet The SW and RW Staff, Part 27–Jimmy

By |November 6th, 2019|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

Next in our “Meet The Staff” Blog Series, I’d like to introduce you to someone who has possibly one of the most diverse employment backgrounds as anyone could have, Jimmy Horvath. Definitely a “rocker” at heart, but he is also one of the most thoughtful people we could ever work with. Using his knowledge from past jobs towards all elements of his position here, we feel very lucky to have had him join our “Whatter’s Family” almost five years ago. And nowadays you may very well see him zipping all across town in one of our SW/RW Delivery Vans, like a pro! Please take a few minutes to read a little more about this great guy:

When did you first start at Sew What? What were you originally hired to do, and how have your duties changed since working here?

I originally started back in March of 2015, to help in the QC Department (helping pull out, inspect, fold, package, and finalize orders both with rental items and custom drapery, as well as cleaning, inspecting, re-folding, and storing return rental drapery and theatrical drapery gear, too). I ended up staying in that department for about a year and a half. Then I moved over to become a general warehouse “assistant”—helping primarily with all types of warehouse duties, but especially aiding with rental gear preparations, repairs, cleaning, inspecting, packaging, etc. I stayed there for about another year and a half, and then a fantastic opportunity came up for me to become the SW/RW company driver—and I have been doing that ever since! I still offer assistance in the warehouse in whichever department might need a little help when I’m not busy doing runs, but overall I’m typically on the road driving from venue to arena to church to theatre, all over Southern California.

What kind of work did you do before coming to Sew What?

I started out in construction, working almost a decade doing all kinds of home remodeling and renovation projects (bathrooms, kitchens, dens, and things like that). At the same time, I also worked part time at an electronics company doing ultrasonic wire bonders for circuit boards of all kinds (phones and such), which definitely taught me to keep an eye on details! Right before coming to SW, I had been working at Home Depot in their building and lumber, garden, and plumbing departments. This variety of fields has given me a wide variety of random knowledge regarding construction applications, carpentry, power and hand tools, gardening, and everything in between.

Do you have a special talent?

I would have to say I have a talent for music, percussion, and rhythm, as I have been involved in music and percussion instruments since I was about 6 years old. Apparently I used to drive my mom nuts by banging on her pots and pans all the time, making a general ruckus. But she decided rather than scolding me that she would encourage me instead. So she bought me a paper drum kit (a Mickey Mouse one—a true classic!), and my love for all things music and drumming-related has grown more and more ever since.

What is your favorite sports team/TV Show/Book/Movie?

I do not watch a lot of TV, but I honestly love lounging at home watching movies on TV—all kinds of genres, but especially thrillers and action movies.

What are some of your hobbies?

I sincerely enjoy talking on the phone and Face Timing with my extended family in Ohio, where my mom, son, granddaughter, and grandson all still live. I have also been a drummer/percussionist in several bands since I was young, and I have loved performing live on stage as much as possible. I also especially enjoy going to live hard rock and metal concerts around town whenever I can, too. Additionally, I consider myself an “automotive nut” and love to work on my Chevy truck and tinker on all kinds of mechanical things in my spare time.

If you could take a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I have always dreamed of someday going to Romania, and more specifically Transylvania, to see the Bran (Dracula) Castle in person. Being able to immerse myself in all of the extremely fascinating gothic architecture and culture would be completely amazing.  

What project have you worked on recently that was interesting or challenging?

I have been helping our Operations Manager on several recent upgrades to the SW building’s outside façade (fence painting, squirrel feeder, etc.), as well as doing some cabinetry repair work in the kitchen, which has been pretty interesting. I never would have thought that I could apply the skills from my many years in construction here, so it was very cool to be able to offer my experience and knowledge to this company, too.

As far as challenging, well, anyone who drives regularly in Los Angeles or Orange County can attest to the fact that most drivers out there are crazy. (LOL!) So, working out alternative routes when a Sig Alert hits our area, figuring out frontage and side roads in busier areas of the city, learning how different venues handle drop offs and pickups on-site, and discovering the best on-and off-ramps for regular deliveries has been a challenge to say the least. But now I can get practically anywhere in town without nearly as many delays, which has also been absolutely invaluable!

What is your favorite memory/circumstance/event from being part of the Sew What? family?

I really enjoy all of the celebrations, pot lucks, and other unique get-togethers that we have regularly here at Sew What….But to be honest, I look forward to our Annual Christmas Party the most.. Games, food, music, White Elephant gift exchange, and of course, lots of laughing!

Anything more about your time here at SW?

I truly appreciate that Sew What? likes to take care of their staff, unlike anywhere else I’ve ever worked. Since it’s a family-owned business, they treat their employees as individuals and utilize our multiple skills and talents in various ways. I also want to say again that I genuinely have a lot of fun at all of the special events they like to have around here, too!